Among the things Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed with late-night television host Stephen Colbert during her Nov. 30 appearance on his "Late Night" show was her signature that will be on currency starting next year. (Screenshot from Late Night YouTube video) I tend to go cashless as much as possible, but I'm also a currency collector. Yeah, one of my many dichotomies. I have a 1976 version of the $2 bill, Yes, the greenback with Thomas Jefferson's mug is real and still in circulation. I also stashed a crisp new $10 bill a few years ago when it looked like... Read more →


The sports arena in Miami bore the FTX name until the cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy. (Photo by 350z33 via Wikipedia Commons) Even before the FTX meltdown, cryptocurrency operations were in regulators' and legislators' sights. Now more, worldwide, are calling for added government attention to the sector. European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has called regulation and supervision of crypto an "absolute necessity." Gary Gensler, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a Yahoo Finance interview today said his agency already has the authority it needs to oversee the crypto industry. But he also noted that... Read more →


Vegas, baby! Nevada's Sin City is still the place to wager on sporting events. More states, however, are taking sports bets, but World Cup wagers are minimal compared to bets placed globally. The hubby has been planted in front of the upstairs television since the World Cup began. I've been watching the MLB Network, wondering when the GM-less Houston Astros will make a move beyond the José Abreu signing. We'll weather this sports breach in our marriage. He's a big baseball fan, too, and the World Cup rolls around just every four years. And at least he's not a gambler.... Read more →


Small businesses and the companies that handle their electronic transactions are not the only ones upset at a new law requiring more tax reporting. So are the people who use sites like Facebook Marketplace or eBay to occasionally sell a few items. These casual sellers are concerned that their not-for-profit transactions might end up in the Internal Revenue Service database, forcing them into unwanted additional dealings with the tax collector. New transaction trigger trouble: The problem is the new $600 per sale trigger that replaced the previous 200 transactions or $20,000 in aggregate sales. Now third-party agents who handle these... Read more →


Some taxpayers might not be this happy in 2023 with their federal tax refund. (Image via Giphy) Many folks are already eagerly anticipating the 2023 tax filing season because they expect to get a refund from Uncle Sam. They might be disappointed. In a recent news release encouraging taxpayers to get ready for the upcoming filing season, the Internal Revenue Service slipped in this warning: Refunds may be smaller in 2023. There are three tax issues in 2022 that contribute to why the IRS will be sending some taxpayers smaller refunds when they file next year. No extra coronavirus funds:... Read more →


Many companies are sending workers home from their cubicles permanently. Last week's U.S. jobs numbers were surprisingly good. But another group was focused on a different workforce statistic: layoffs. In the last few weeks, there have been mass personnel reductions. Workers at CNN, HLN, Twitter, Meta, Amazon, Salesforce, HP, Lyft, Doordash, and more have been shown the doors in what some are terming, after the pandemic prompted Great Resignation and quiet quitting when workers returned to offices, the era of loud layoffs. At least those let go received some sort of severance package. But that small consolation also has tax... Read more →


Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash The U.S. jobs report today was way better than expected. Employers added 263,000 jobs. That meant that the country's unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent. That's just a couple of minuscule notches higher than the half-century low of 3.5 percent. Wages are up, too. The October-to-November average hourly earnings crept up 0.6 percent, making it the strongest month-to-month gain since January. The latest hiring data has left economists, the Federal Reserve, and stock managers at a loss. One of the persistent questions as unemployment remains low is why so many businesses are still scrambling... Read more →


Photo by Guneet Jassal on Unsplash It's December! Are you ready for all the decorating and shopping and cooking and parties and tax moves to make? Yep, tax actions need to be added to your already very long holiday to-do list. You only have 31 days to take advantage of some Internal Revenue Code provisions that could save you money. That's always a welcome gift from Uncle Sam, but especially at this time of year. Plus, if you take relevant tax steps sooner in the month, you'll also free up time for more traditional festivities. So let's get to it.... Read more →


Women are making some advances in workplaces, but still face challenges when it comes to saving for a secure retirement. (Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash) I've spent most of my professional life writing and, for the most part, I've enjoyed it. But I've also, for the most part, looked forward to tapping away at a keyboard because I want to, not because I have to. That's part of the reason I shifted to freelancing. The freedom of being an independent contractor is, (one more time) for the most part, the best thing about the arrangement. So that I... Read more →


Not all foreign tax havens are tropical islands, but the idyllic getaways do conjure images of tax crooks enjoying isolated beaches at Internal Revenue Service's expense. (Photo by Asad Photo Maldives) Correlation does not imply causation, but in a couple of high-profile offshore tax evasion cases, it's starting to look like trying to allegedly put one over on the U.S. tax collector is not a healthy move. For the second time in four months, a defendant in an offshore tax evasion case has died. Carlos Kepke, a Houston-based tax attorney who was indicted on charges that he helped hide $225... Read more →


The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become a popular donation day. The charitable boosting effort, dubbed Giving Tuesday when it was initiated in 2012, is now the unofficial kick-off of the annual end-of-year charitable season. Most people don't give to good causes because they get tax breaks. Thank goodness for that, since the 2017 tax reform bill made it more difficult to claim a charitable deduction for donations. And that brings us to the first of this post's six charitable donation tax tips. 1. Itemizing required: The only way to get a tax deduction for your donations is to claim them... Read more →


Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash You're heading home from your Thanksgiving get-together, loaded down with leftovers and maybe something less welcome. Yeah, your indigestion has been acting up, inflamed by overly rich food and some family members who just wouldn't let things go. The good news is that you can use your flexible spending account (FSA) funds to pay for the Tums or Gaviscon or whatever over-the-counter (OTC) remedy works for you. You may remember that not too long ago, you had to jump through hoops to get FSA coverage for these store shelf treatments under an Affordable Care... Read more →


Photo by Mikkel Bergmann on Unsplash We're into the Thanksgiving weekend and still noshing on leftover turkey. (Or, in my case, pumpkin pie.) But here's a Tax Turkey you shouldn't let linger. Don't wait to look into converting, in full or partially, your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Individual retirement savings options: IRAs, or individual retirement arrangements (although most of us read the A as account), have long been a popular way for individuals, with or without a workplace retirement plan, to save for their post-work year. The original version, now known as a traditional IRA, debuted in 1975,... Read more →


Tom and Tillie Turkey take care of their youngsters, like these three young Bourbon Red poults. But poultry and the rest of the animal world doesn't have to send their offspring to college. (Photo by Jennifer Kleffner via Flickr CC) A recurring phrase uttered at holiday season family gatherings is "you've grown so much since I last saw you!" What that usually means for many parents of those youngsters is that they will soon be heading off to college. And that move to campus means that mom and dad will have to come up with big bucks. The best way... Read more →


Happy Thanksgiving Day! Once you retire, you might be able to spend the holiday in a different way, depending on your golden year dreams and how much money you've saved for post-work years. (Photo by sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash) How's your Thanksgiving morning going? It's pretty quiet at our house, since it's only the hubby and me. And aside from baking a pumpkin pie, our meal is Texas smoked brisket, sausage, and sides we picked up from a local barbecue joint yesterday afternoon. If your Turkey Day is more hectic, enjoy! When I was growing up in West Texas, my... Read more →


What better topic for Thanksgiving than tax turkeys and how to avoid them. Our first tax turkey, represented by this solo strutting showy bird, is incorrect withholding. (Photo by Chris Henry on Unsplash) Thanksgiving, a time of gathering with family you haven't seen for a while. But sometimes, even when we get along with our relatives, we need a break from all that familial reconnecting. You could take a walk. Or check out a calming app. Or take care of a tax task. To help with that third suggestion, the rest of this Thanksgiving week (and weekend) the ol' blog... Read more →


Technology is great, except when it isn't. And technology can be potentially dangerous, especially when taxes are involved. We all know that our tax data is a prime target for crooks. They can use the information on our 1040s to file fake returns and too often, despite improved Internal Revenue Service security measures, collect fraudulent refunds. They also can use the info on our tax paperwork — earnings, investments, Social Security numbers for us and our family members — to steal our identities and ruin us financially. And now we've learned that major tax software and e-filing companies have been... Read more →


Holiday season is here. So are the accompanying scams. True, con artists operate year-round. But they really ramp up their schemes during this time of giving. Some try to trick people who are stretched a bit too thin into thinking there's free money out there … as long as they supply some personal and financial information. Other scammers use the hook of holiday giving, especially for those who are less fortunate. Just send along your help to the fake emailer, they say, or even easier, just click on the link. 'Tis the phishing season: And some go for a combo... Read more →